Sugar-cane

Fresh and syrupy sweet Sugar-cane! Who would not like them?

Sugarcane, peeled and cubed

Sugar-canes, called as Ganna in Urdu, are easily available in Toronto at many Asian stores. I got a 1 pound cane for a dollar the other day from a Chinese grocery store beside my house.

Fresh Sugar-cane juice is sold by roadside vendors in India, but it is usually unhygienic and hence, better to enjoy it this way.

For those of you wondering how to I peeled and cubed those tough juicy and sugary canes, just follow these steps. Thanks WC!

Luv,
Mona

Kiwifruit

Kiwi Fruit

Kiwifruit ~ an egg shaped, brown, thin and furry skinned fruit, rich in Vitamin C, other vitamins and minerals, fibre and antioxidants, also called as Chinese Gooseberry and native to China, with syrupy bright emerald green inner flesh and flecked attractively with tiny edible black seeds, and white rays that shoot out from the center. Its peel is inedible

To remove the flesh, cut the fruit into half, and scoop it out using a spoon. Slice it and serve immediately. It tastes deliciously sweet and tart, similar to strawberry.

Did you know: Kiwi fruit is also used as a meat tenderizer as it contains a protein dissolving enzyme.

Luv,
Mona

Besan Ka Salan

My father is not a very good cook, but he prepares a few dishes perfectly well, like Pyaz ka Anda, Ande ka Meetha, Khichdi, Nimrish Anda, etc. Among these dishes, Besan ka Salan is his favorite, which he very lovingly used to prepare while my Ammi fixed a few Parathas to go along with it for us all as the Sunday breakfasts during my childhood. 

Besan Ka Salan – Gram Flour Curry

Today I present you all with one of my beloved father’s favorite curry, which I enjoyed along with store brought Afghani Roti as my weekend breakfast today. Hope you enjoy it as well. 

Besan Ka Salan – Gram Flour Curry

Ingredients:

Chickpea flour/Besan – 1 cup
Canola oil – 2 tsp
Sliced Onions – 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Small green chillies – 4, finely chopped
Warm Water – 2 cups
Chopped Cilantro – for garnish

Method:
-In a non-stick frying pan at medium heat, pour in canola oil and as soon as it warms up add the onions and fry them until they are golden brown in color. Add the besan and mix throughly. Roast the flour along with the onions for a minute or two, stirring it continuously until you achieve a rich orange-yellow color, similar to the color of turmeric, and a beautiful aroma. Be careful so that you do not burn it into brown and also that the flour does not form into lumps.
-Pour in warm water, add red chilli powder, salt and chopped green chillies and stir it all well and breaking any lumps of flour if present into a smooth paste with the back of a wooden spoon. Let it cook for 2-5 minutes until you achieve the desired pasty consistency. Taste for salt and chilli, add more if you wish. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve warm immediately.

Note:
1. Serve Besan Ka Salan immediately as soon as it is prepared, or else it will absorb the liquid and form a cake. If due to any reasons it has dried up, simply pour in a little more water so that it forms a paste and reheat it stirring it well. Serve right away.
2. Enjoy this curry along with Roti/Paratha/Phulka. Rice is a not good accompaniment to it.

Suggested Accompaniments: Serve Besan Ka Salan warm along with warm Roti or Parathas for a delicious breakfast.

Luv,
Mona

Weekend Treat

When I first tasted them, I immediately fell in love with these sinful fried cakes.

Vanilla Glazed Donuts with Sprinkles

This long weekend, we had some scrumptious Doughnuts from Tim Hortons as a treat. There are many varieties of doughnuts, and other goodies available at ‘Tim Hortons’. My favorite ones are the ‘Canadian Maple glazed Doughnuts’. Tim Hortons are the largest chain of coffee and baked goods selling chain of restaurants here in Canada. There seems to one at every corner and always brimming with people that love the food available there.

box of a dozen Donuts from Tim Hortons

Doughnuts are considered as a ‘Canadian thing’ and loved by all Canadians so dearly that many have said it should be a Canadian National food. , hence ubiquitious to Canada.

Enjoy the pictures and remember to savor these delicious doughnuts if you are visiting Canada anytime.

Luv,
Mona

Kaddu Ka Salan with Varqi Roti

Todays post features a simple yet delicious subzi-roti combination which I enjoy as a breakfast or lunch or a dinner meal.

Bottle Gourd curry/Kaddu ka Salan with Layered Flat Bread/Varqi Roti

Today I prepared Varqi Roti and simple Bottle gourd curry for our lunch. The procedure for Varqi Roti is simple and I have explained it using the pictorial tutorial below:

This is the procedure how my Grandmother/Nani used to prepare Varqi Roti for her husband, my beloved late Grandfather/Nana, who was a Tehsildaar, from the state of Lucknow, a great foodie and food enthusiast.

Varqi Roti – Flaky Flat Bread

Makes : 7 Rotis

Ingredients:

Durum Wheat flour – 2 1/2 cups
Water – 2/3 cup
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Canola oil – for cooking the Roti

Method:

The materials used to prepare any flat bread/roti are a Girda and a Belan. Girda is a flat wooden board on which the flat bread/roti are rolled using the belan, which is the rolling pin.  If you did not happen to buy a girda from your trip to India, use any flat wooden board available or a any clean flat surface like your kitchen countertop or a wooden cutting board. Keep a kitchen towel below the board to keep it steady while rolling the roti with the rolling pin.

Girda & Belan (Image Source – Internet)

1. In a bowl, add the flour and salt and mix well. Gently pour in water, a little at a time, to form soft dough.
2. Make golf sized balls out of the dough and roll it using flour into circles using a rolling pin on the flat wooden board.

3. Sprinkle flour on the rolled out roti and fold it as shown in the picture. Keep sprinkling flour after every fold. Follow these steps until it is folded into a rectangle.

4. Once it is folded into a rectangle, roll it out into a roti again.
5. Heat a cast iron flat griddle/tawa on medium high heat. Once it is hot, put the rolled over prepared roti on the heated griddle. Let it cook for a few seconds. You will notice small bubbles on the roti. Flip it with a rubber spatula or a flat spoon which you have and cook it on the other side again for a few seconds.
6. Now quickly brush the roti with oil with a silicone basting brush or usian a teaspoon all over, and flip it over. Again, working quickly, spead the oil over the other side too and flip it to cook that side. Line a platter with a papertowel and remove the roti onto the lined platter. Cover the roti with a kitchen towel until all are done to keep warm. Alternately you can also use a ‘Milton casserole/hot-pot‘ to keep the rotis warm.

Milton Products – An Indian brand for household items that is my personal favorite

Opo Squash, Tomatoes, Onion

Bottle gourd is an another favorite subzi which we all enjoy a lot along with Roti for meals. The plants of bottle gourd produce vigorous climbing vines and tendrils with fragrant white flowers. Ammi had a large bottle gourd plant during my childhood. Bottle gourd are a good source of choline and various minerals. It is a commonly used vegetable in India. They have a spongy white flash with white seeds in a fibrous center pith. This easily digestable vegetable has a kind of bland but delicious taste, so it is used to prepare both sweet and savory preparations.

Kaddu Ka Salan – Bottle Gourd in Tomato-Onion gravy

Ingredients:

Bottle Gourd/Opo Squash/Kaddu – 1, small sized (it came to around 770 gms of chopped bottle gourd after peeling)
Canola Oil – 2 tsp
Yellow Onion – 1, large, finely sliced
Tomato – 2, medium sized, finely chopped
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 2 tsp

Method:

1. Wash, peel and chop the bottle gourd into small pieces. (You can either discard the peels or store them to prepare this delicious curry) (Discard if the seeds are hard, but if the seeds are tender, use them in the curry)
2. Pour oil into a pressure cooker at medium heat and as soon as it warms up, add the sliced onion. Let it cook till it is light brown in colour. Keep stirring occasionally. Once the onion is soft and browned, add the chopped tomatoes and cover the lid ajar for 2 minutes.
3. Add the bottle gourd, red chilli powder, turmeric, salt and 1/2 cup water. Mix well and cover the lid and pressure cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the bottle gourd is completely cooked. Serve the curry warm.

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Voting for the Lok Sabha Elections in India ends and Congress wins with Dr.Manmohan Singh returning to power as the Prime Minister of India for the second consecutive time.
Congratulations India!

Luv,
Mona